Tuesday’s Horse Racing Preview: Nice to Mitchouka5 min read
Today’s cards at Pontefract and Wincanton have been abandoned due to waterlogging and it is fair to say that Aintree are unlikely to have any concerns about whether they will need to water in the run up to their Grand National Meeting which starts on Thursday week.
Having looked at a rerun of the Foxhunters’ Chase at Cheltenham over the weekend there is no question that Burning Ambition was the best horse in the race and the drop back in trip will suit at Aintree next week. He is and if he gets past Bechers’ Brook without mishap, I think he will take all the beating.
Fairyhouse – Abandoned
The third and final day of Fairyhouse’s Irish Grand National meeting begins with a Beginners’ Chase over the minimum trip and Noel Meade looks to have found an ideal opportunity for Le Martalin (2.40) to open his account over fences.
The selection has crossed swords with many of the best novice chasers in Ireland this season and today’s contest represents a drop in grade.
The Grade 2 Juvenile Hurdle is a cracker with Fred Winter winner Veneer Of Charm declared stepping up in class for Gordon Elliot, although it should be noted that he was due to run on yesterday’s card at Fairyhouse where he was taking on Getabird.
The four-year-old received 10lbs from his stablemate Mitchouka (3.10) at Cheltenham and would be 7lbs worse off with that rival this afternoon. The selection was almost brought down at the third flight at Cheltenham in the Fred Winter, however, and you can put a line through that form.
The selection has won three of his four races over today’s C&D although his 3lbs penalty – picked up for winning a Grade 3 here in February – is a concern in such a competitive field.
Minella Fair (3.40) carries top-weight of 11st 10lbs minus his amateur jockey’s claim but I was very impressed with his facile win at Clonmel last time although the handicapper has had his say and has raised him 13lbs for that success. I thought he looked a Graded horse last time and is certainly one to consider over fences next season.
In the Mares’ Grade 3 Chase Dinaria Des Obeau can reverse recent Limerick form on 4lbs better terms with Youcantcallherthat with Elliot fitting his mare in first-time cheek-pieces. That said the Willie Mullins-trained Asthuria (5.15) finished in front of the Elliot runner at Naas back in February over two miles and the selection should be at least as effective over this additional half-mile.
Lagan Island (5.45) has won his last five races between the flags and can make a winning debut under rules in the Hunters’ Chase under Cheltenham Festival winning rider Noel McParlan. The selection looks an exciting recruit and receives weight from his more experienced but exposed rivals the best of which is likely to be Sizing Coal.
At Lingfield, Ostilio (3.55) can make it third time lucky stepping up to a mile for Simon Crisford and Andrea Atzeni. The selection has had his wind tweaked since his last run and wears a hood and tongue-tie. Roger Varian’s Kawasir is the obvious danger having finished third at Kempton on debut in a race that is working out well.
Georgia Cox was in the saddle when Buccaneers Vault (4.25) scored at Doncaster last year and the pair are taken to land the six-furlong handicap for Paul Midgley. The selection has yet to win on an all-weather surface but he has run some decent races in defeat and can strike fast and late although his draw on the outside in stall six is a concern.